Review of critical discourse analysis in tourism studies

Jianwei Qian, Jiewen Wei, Rob Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is one of the prevalent schools in discourse analysis, which is particularly useful in analyzing in-depth meanings under a specific social context. Tourism researchers have realized the effectiveness of such an approach in exploring multifaceted tourism phenomena and have, thus, conducted studies in various tourism areas. A timely review of CDA in tourism offers signposts for the previous works of scholars and guidance for scholars who want to deploy CDA methods in the future. In this study, 50 articles were eventually reviewed on the basis of rigorous selection criteria. Bibliometric and thematic features of these articles are identified. Five key areas, namely, travel motivation, destination image, tourism marketing, sustainable tourism, and social relationship in tourism, were determined to dominate the current CDA studies in tourism, which is distinctly helpful in enriching the understanding of the academia toward tourism and in supporting the sustainable development of the industry. This study also draws the academia's attention toward CDA to consider deploying this method in examining various tourism phenomena under a broader social context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-537
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • critical discourse analysis
  • review
  • tourism studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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